In Wellington, New Zealand, where I live, and no doubt in many other cities in the world, professional services consultancies are predictably jumping on the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Bandwagon. Everyone wants to be seen as THE experts in AWS.
In my mind, in terms of a business model, this is all well and good – but its more important and sustainable to be the cloud software engineering experts backed by the best engineering talent money can buy. Being an AWS expert is simply not enough.
So how do you become a cloud software engineering expert? In my mind by building and launching hugely ambitious, useful, global services that delight their users – even if you give it away for free – yes, build software for free. Sounds crazy right? No it’s not crazy, passionate engineers do it all the time and this attitude is the foundation of some of the most successful companies in the world.
But why aim to scale globally, even with a simple service? Because this is the only way you’ll get onto difficult engineering challenges. It’s the only way you’ll get pressed to look at each and every part of functionality in detail and determine how you’ll make sure every single user has a delightful experience. Also, if you are burning your own money, rather than someone else’s (a client’s money), you’ll be very, very careful with your design and possibly even think about it night and day.